Some of my favorite memories are at Disneyland. Finding out that wheelchair users need to transfer in order to ride some of the rides was disappointing, but with some help I was able to go on all the rides I wanted to go on.
This year was my first time visiting the park in my Quantum Stretto wheelchair. Compared to others, it’s a very compact chair which is convenient. The iLevel feature lets me raise the chair up to be eye level with people around me or to reach things that would normally be out of reach; in this case, the Indiana Jones jeep! I was able to go on all the rides I was hoping to go on with the help from my family. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to go on any rides that you can’t ride on while staying in a wheelchair.
The first ride I went on was the Jungle Cruise. I had been on this ride last time I visited the park in my scooter and knew that this ride would be wheelchair accessible.
The next ride I went on was Pirates of the Caribbean. Wheelchair users enter the ride through the exit. We handed them the card shown below that my sister-in-law got from one of the Pirates Cast Members and we proceeded onto the ride. You don’t need this card to ride, we got it because we were going to be returning to the ride later. Now for those wondering, this ride does have an accessibility feature! It is essentially four stairs that you can slide down from your wheelchair. They attach them to the side of the boat and you either slide over from your wheelchair or someone in your party can help you. My family helped slide me down to each level of the small stairs until I was seated on the seat in the boat. The Cast Members let you know to take your time, everyone will be able to ride! Bring a seat cushion because if you’re used to a padded wheelchair seat, the Pirates boat is not comfortable! But being on the ride I thought I’d never be able to ride again because of my disability outweighed my uncomfortable seat situation!
We went on Indiana Jones next. A Cast Member will put down a piece in the floor to bridge the gap from the loading area to the jeep. It lets you get your wheelchair as close as possible to the jeep. This is when being able to raise my chair up with iLevel comes in handy. I raised my chair up to the level of the jeep and my dad and brother lifted me over to the jeep’s front seat. I was reminded that this ride is very shaky, bumpy, and moves a lot. If I would’ve been able to sit in the seat next to the driver seat, then my left leg wouldn’t have kept moving toward the opening on the side of the jeep! But the handlebars between each seat made it difficult to move over to the seat next to the driver seat. I was also reminded that this ride requires upper body strength which I don’t really have anymore, so be sure you ride with people who can help hold you in place! There are seatbelts on this ride for a reason!
Next, we went on Haunted Mansion. We used the Lightning Lane so we were able to go right onto the ride. We went through the doors of the mansion and into the “elevator” foyer. When we came out, a Cast Member asked me if I’d like the track to completely stop or move slower. I opted for it to completely stop. We waited our turn and the track below stopped moving. A Cast Member will light your Doom Buggy with a flashlight. I got the wheelchair right next to the opening and my brother and dad lifted me onto the seat. My mom parked my wheelchair and we were off, turning around corners and checking the hallways for ghosts! Instead of getting off where everyone else gets off the ride, we rode it back to where we got on. They stopped the track again and my brother and dad helped me back into my wheelchair. A Cast Member helped us back to the stretching room and we got to ride it and see it stretch the other way without the voiceover that you hear in the beginning.
I was surprised how easy it was to transfer onto Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. I was originally going to go in the first seat, but decided to go with the middle chair because the front of the ride got narrow. The isle was a good distance apart. My wheelchair fit in the isle and my brother and dad helped me transfer onto the seat of the ride. My hands couldn’t reach all the buttons they say to press during the ride, but it was still fun!
Our next stop was an early dinner at the Blue Bayou Restaurant. It was my first time having a mint julep and it was so good. Next time I’ll try the one with alcohol! We took pictures by the castle and then a parade started so we zig zagged through the crowds and got onto Small World! I could stay in my wheelchair which was nice. It had the same feature as the Jungle Cruise, but you don’t go down into the boat, you stay high above the rest of your party. The openings of the ride are tall so you don’t feel like you’ll bump your head!
I was definitely tired by this point, so my brother and my sister-in-law went to ride Autopia and my parents and I took the train back to New Orleans Square. Just a reminder the front train station only has stairs! We went back by Pirates of the Caribbean and I took a picture of it at night. We made our way down Main Street and through the gates and back to reality. It went by so fast, but I know I’ll be back someday. With help, I can ride on a lot more than I thought I could!
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